How long does Covid last – When are you infectious and when does cough go away?

Coronavirus cases are on the rise and people should be aware of how long symptoms can last, as well as the length of time they may be contagious for, after Sajid Javid cut the time required to isolate

If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you should isolate and take a PCR test immediately
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you should isolate and take a PCR test immediately

The coronavirus is thriving in the UK at the moment. On December 22, 2021, cases soared to 106,122, the highest number they have increased by over 24 hours since the pandemic began.

Further measures in England have already been talked about and could be put in place by the Prime Minister on December 28, 2021.

A return to measures known as Covid ‘Step 2’ could well be on the cards and, as Omicron is now the dominant variant in England, there is talk of a return to lockdown in January, as well.

On Wednesday, December 22, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that a cut to the time people must isolate for, after showing symptoms, was being implemented.

The previous 10-day period is now just seven days, providing people show a native lateral flow test 24 hours apart on days 6 and 7 of isolation and they are fully vaccinated.

The move surprised many particularly with cases so high, but the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) believe that the change is perfectly safe.

How long does Covid last for?

A scratchy throat, mild muscle aches, extreme tiredness, a dry cough and night sweats are all symptoms of the Omicron covid variant


Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

Symptoms of Covid-19 may last a long time but should begin to clear after around five days. There is no exact number on how long it takes a person to recover from the virus, but this is a general estimate and expectation.

The common symptom of a cough is expected to last an average of four to five days.

At the moment, symptoms will usually differ depending on what variant a person contracts, but the six symptoms of the Omicron variant are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Body aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Scratchy throat
  • Dry cough
  • Night sweats

This is the dominant variant in England at the moment, with cases soaring and doubling rapidly across the nation.

What is ‘long covid’ and how long does it last for?

Covid symptoms can linger for a very long time and many people have reported something known as ‘long covid’.

The NHS said: “How long it takes to recover from COVID-19 is different for everybody.

“Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.

“The chances of having long-term symptoms do not seem to be linked to how ill you are when you first get COVID-19.

“People who had mild symptoms at first can still have long-term problems.”

How long does Covid take to appear?

Covid symptoms should appear after around five to six days


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

American scientists conducted a study into the time between a person coming into contact with the coronavirus and the moment your symptoms are expected to start.

They published their findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine and it takes just over five days for symptoms to develop. 97% of people who contract the virus will develop symptoms within 11 days.

Symptoms have also been known to take up to 14 days to appear.

Despite this, the UKHSA believe that a seven-day period of isolation can have “nearly the same protective effect as a 10-day isolation period.”

The UKHSA chief executive, Dr Jenny Harries, told The Guardian : “Covid-19 is spreading quickly among the population, and the pace at which Omicron is transmitting may pose a risk to running our critical public services during winter.

“This new guidance will help break chains of transmission and minimise the impact on lives and livelihoods. It is crucial that people carry out their lateral flow tests as the new guidance states and continue to follow public health advice.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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